I have a special tradition for this holiday. I always have a good dinner, as most everyone does, but I also watch Dredd (2012).
A dystopian crime drama, soaked with violence and despair, instead of a feel-good film that uplifts the spirit? There are a few reasons for this.
I worked two jobs during the 1980’s, and would rent videos for the few days I had any free time. There were many nights I would watch cheap movies featuring forgettable action heroes that were filmed on a shoestring. Although Dredd had a respectable amount of money in the budget, and it looks pretty good, the gritty and hyper-realistic tone of the film reminds me strongly of all of those direct to video offerings where everyone involved tried to do their best with what they had.
Another reason is that it is a pretty good film! Entertaining, and the characters are true to the source material. None of which can be said of the first effort to bring the character to the big screen.
The last reason is that I am really, really thankful that I don’t live in such a world as that depicted in the movie. And isn’t giving thanks what the holiday is all about?
Indeed, it captured the tone of the comics (which I was reading in the 1980s) rather well, as well as having a good script, acting &c.
Is this a little like how for some people the original ‘Die Hard ‘ is a Christmas movie?
Hmmm . . . I was actually okay with the Stallone movie. I think it caught the look of the comics better than ‘Dredd’ but at the end of the day it felt more like an okay Stallone movie than a Judge Dredd movie.
And ‘Dredd’ while it didn’t really capture the look of comics . . . well after it had finished I was going, “Wow! That is a proper Judge Dredd movie!” And it was a shame it didn’t do better at the box office.
There is a story, probably apocryphal, that when Karl Urban was offered the role of Dredd he was told, “Look, you do know you’re going to have to keep your helmet on for the whole of the movie?” His response, “Yes, so?”
But anyway James, I hope you had Happy Thanksgiving, and while the world of Judge Dredd is a fun fictional setting, I do agree that we can all give thanks we don’t live there.